Torah Buzz Blog

The TBE Blog is the space where Temple Beth El’s Leadership Team members reflect on relevant topics that are most meaningful to us. Here you will find musings on everything from prayer to politics, music to mysticism and history to current day life. From our iPads, smartphones, and laptops to yours, these are the things that inspire us, keep us up at night, and fuel our own Jewish journeys.


A Former Los Angelina finds Community and Jewish Connection in the South by Naomi McRary

I lived in L.A. for 12 years and I loved it. I met my husband there, in a bar of course. He was from North Carolina of all pl...


What Do You Want Your Jewish Experience to Look Like? by Dave Press

Have you ever been invited to try a new restaurant, only to take one look at the menu and realize that there’s nothing ther...


Self and Community: Tending to the Garden of Our Soul by Rabbi Asher Knight

I have an incredible knack – some even call it a skill – to kill every plant that’s been unfortunate enough to come nea...

A Place to Come Home To by Amy Cojac Andrews

Aug 15

I find it ironic that some of the very times I feel most connected to Temple Beth El are when I am physically farthest away from Charlotte. I grew up at this temple, but since college have spent significant stints in other places, some more far flung than others. I have come to realize that […]

Finding Myself In Community by Bryan Buckler

Aug 15

Growing up in rural Georgia, I thought being a minority meant you were either African-American or Catholic. Our family was one of only two that were Catholic, but fortunately I never experienced any intense prejudice other than an occasional joke about the pastor, the priest and the rabbi. In fact, I had never known a Jewish person until I was 22 years old, living […]

TriBEs: Community, Sprouted through Meaningful Relationships by Ellen Reich

Aug 14

I believe creating community embodies listening – listening with an intentional level of depth and patience that often does not come naturally. When I disagree with someone, I am usually confident I DO understand exactly what the other person is saying and am ready to barrel through to now insist they understand ME! Of course, […]

Communities Work When They Make Room for Everyone by Nick Montoni

Aug 13

My mother once said to me, “You can’t wash being Jewish off in the bath.” Growing up, I interpreted this to be a statement about the complexity of Jewish identity and the interconnectedness of ethnicity and faith for the Jewish people. As I grow older, I realize the statement means even more than that. On […]

Discovering The True Meaning of Community Involvement by Howard Olshansky

Aug 13

I have often grappled with the challenge of community involvement. This is an inherent conflict for me. I tend to be a pretty private person, while working and living in an environment that necessitates lots of engagement. In my positions as Director of non-profit organizations, I have frequently taken on community leadership positions, as they […]

Kehilah Kedoshah – A Holy Community by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Aug 07

As much as we are dedicated to having our students love Jewish learning, at Temple Beth El Religious School, we also strive to have our families become a part of our community – our Holy Community. We do this in many ways. We teach the concepts of observing mitzvot in our classes. We model those […]

Turn! Turn! Turn! by Ross C. Levin

Aug 01

Pete Seeger’s scripture based “Turn! Turn! Turn!” made popular in the 1960s by The Byrds, is open to a myriad of interpretations.  For me, it brings to mind the turning of the last twelve seasons at Temple Beth El and our future outlook as a result of that time period. During our history we have […]